Do You Know You Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

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Vitamin B12 is not a common vitamin and you cannot easily point out if your body is lacking this vitamin. This can be very serious, as its deficiency can cause irreversible brain damage. Extreme deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause memory loss, heart disease, anaemia, stroke, depression, etc.

Another important thing about vitamin B12 is that if you're taking folic acid, the problem may be more because folic acid masks the deficiency symptoms of vitamin B12. Therefore you must have a check on your vitamin B12 levels, in case you are taking folic acid supplements.

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Vitamin B12 can be mainly found in animal foods such as eggs, mutton, chicken, etc. However, mushrooms, milk, dairy products and yoghurt also contain vitamin B12, but in small amounts.

Vegetarians can also take vitamin B12 supplements in the form of tablets, capsules, injections or liquid tonics. If you avoid milk, eggs, meat and all dairy products, you must take its supplements at least.

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People who are under a high risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency are pregnant women, people who had a weight loss surgery, HIV positive people and people with certain digestive disorders, such as Crohn's disease, who have difficulty in absorbing the nutrients.

Here are some warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Do have a look!

Fatigue And Body Pain

If you always feel tired and lazy, it may be due to vitamin B12 deficiency. The deficiency of this vitamin causes decreased oxygen supply to the body, and thus less energy. You may also experience feelings of nausea and light-headedness.

Swollen Tongue

People with vitamin B12 deficiency can have swellings in their tongue and a decreased sense of taste. The tongue can get smooth and sore sometimes.

Jaundice

Another symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is that the eyes, nails and skin can turn from pale to yellow in colour. Due to a reduced liver function jaundice may also occur as one of the symptoms.

Weakness And Balance Problems

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes muscle weakness, body imbalance and shivering. A persons may find it difficult to maintain balance while walking or doing any physical activity.

Increased Breathing And Heart Beat

There will be shortness of breath, palpitations and an increased heart beat. People may also experience nervous breakdowns and anxiety.

Joint Pain

If you don't have arthritis or any joint injury, yet your joint is swollen and painful, you must get checked for vitamin B12 deficiency in your body. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause redness, pain and inflammation of the joints.

Depression

Depression can also be caused by less vitamin B12 in the body. You may feel low, unhappy or disinterested in any social activities. To treat this, you need to take supplements of vitamin B12.

Numbness And Tingling

Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause numbness, loss of sensation and a tingling feeling in the hands and feet. If you are getting this frequently and for a longer duration of time, you must consult a physician for sure.

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Story first published: Friday, November 27, 2015, 8:00 [IST]
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